November 24th, 2020

6mm Creedmoor Load Data from Sierra Bullets + BONUS

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets
NOTE: The 6mm Creedmoor now does have an official SAAMI specification. It is no longer just a wildcat.

CLICK HERE for Sierra Bullets 6mm Creedmoor LOAD DATA PDF »

Sierra Bullets Load Data 6mm Creedmoor reloading tips

Sierra Bullets has published load data for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, a necked-down version of the popular 6.5 Creedmoor. Sierra has released very comprehensive 6mm Creedmoor load data, covering fifteen (15) different bullets from 55 to 110 grains. NOTE: Hornady-brand brass was used for Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor load tests, not the newer, stronger Lapua 6.5 CM brass with small primer pockets. Hand-loaders using Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass necked to 6mm may have to adjust their loads.

Sierra writes: “As soon as the 6.5 Creedmoor was released in 2007, a 6mm version was being envisioned. After the 6mm Creedmoor demonstrated its worth at 1000 yards it began to catch the attention of Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitors. The 6mm Creedmoor is a great fit for those looking for an AR platform-friendly cartridge. It delivers velocities very similar to the .243 Win and yet fits the AR10 magazine length[.] The 30-degree shoulder makes this a very efficient case and helps prolong case life as well. The 6mm Creedmoor works well with powders such as H4350, [RE-16], RE-17, and Ramshot Hunter for heavier long-range bullet weights. Slightly faster powders such as RE-15, Win 760, and Vihtavuori N540 work well with lighter weight bullets.”

Sierra Bullets Tested for 6mm Creedmoor Load Data
55gr BlitzKing (#1502)
60gr HP (#1500)
70gr HPBT (#1505)
70gr BlitzKing (#1507)
75gr HP (#1510)
80gr SBT (#1515)
85gr Spitzer (#1520)
85gr HPBT (#1530)
90gr FMJBT (#1535)
95gr HPBT (#1537)
95gr TMK (#7295)
100gr Spitzer (#1540)
100gr SBT (#1560)
107gr HPBT (#1570)
110gr HPBT (#1575)

In developing its 6mm Creedmoor load data, Sierra tested a very wide selection of propellants, two dozen overall. For the smaller bullets, fast-burning powders such as Benchmark, H4895, and CFE223 were tested. For the heavier 100+ grain bullets, Sierra tested a selection of medium-burn-rate powders including H4350, Reloder 16, Reloder 17, Varget, and Superformance. Sierra did a very thorough job. We know this information will be welcomed by 6mm Creedmoor shooters.

Don’t know what powder to try first? For the 107-110 grain bullets, if you want best accuracy and low ES/SD, our Forum members recommend Alliant Reloder 16 and Hodgdon H4350. If you are seeking max velocity with the 110-grainer, look at Hodgdon Superformance and Reloder 19.

Here are Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor Load Data Charts for 90-95 grain bullets plus the 107gr MK and 110gr MK. There are five other tables for other bullet types.

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets


BONUS: PRB 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor Load Survey

The Precision Rifle Blog compiled Load Data from PRS Competitors, for both 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor. This is a good place to start. PRB surveyed the match loads for “173 of the top-ranked precision rifle shooters in the country”. One cautionary note: These PRS guys may be loading fairly hot, so work up gradually, 0.3 grains at a time. CLICK HERE.

PRB precision rifle blog pet loads what pros use 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm CM

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November 23rd, 2020

Bargain Finder 270: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Academy Sports — Cannon 64-Gun Safe, $599.99 (Save $400)

academy sports Cannon 64-gun Valley Forge Safe Black Friday Sale
BIG gun safe, good interior, amazing 40% OFF Savings

This is a jumbo-sized, 40″-wide fire-rated safe that holds up to 64 long guns. This big Cannon Valley Forge Gunsafe normally sells for $999.99, but this week you can get it for just $599.99 at Academy Sports. Yep, that’s a whopping $400 off normal retail, a 40% savings! If you need a big safe, don’t hesitate — this deal is good from November 22-28, 2020 only.

2. Brownells — Hornady L-N-L Classic Reloading Kit, $299.99

hornady reloading kit
Bargain Price AND get 500 free bullets from Hornady

Need tools to start reloading? Check out the Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Kit. This Hornady Reloading Kit includes everything you need except brass, powder, and bullets to get started. Don’t forget to use Brownells coupon code VTJ for $20 off, lowering your net price to $299.99. Also, this Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Kit appears to qualify for 500 FREE bullets through the Hornady Get Loaded Rebate. That Rebate can net you bullets worth 50% of your Kit purchase price, making this a very attractive deal

3. Amazon — Vortex Diamondback HD Spotting Scope, $399.00

vortex diamondback HD spotting scope
Great Spotting Scope Deal — hard to beat at twice the price

Whether hunting or target shooting, spotting scopes get you on target faster and easier than bare eyes or riflescope. If you need a good HD-grade spotter, check out the Vortex Diamondback HD 16-48x65mm angled spotting scope for $399.00. It offers great clarity and rock-solid lifetime guarantee. Relatively compact and weighing 49.8 ounces, this is a good choice for a hunter. There’s also a straight version for $399.00, with same 16-48X power and 65mm objective. If you need more magnification and low-light performance, Vortex offers the 20-60x80mm Diamondback HD spotter for $499.00.

4. Amazon — All-Weather Case with Anti-Rust Interior, $93.99

plano all weather case
Protect your firearm investment with corrosion-fighting rifle case

Transporting your firearms isn’t just about protecting them from damage, it’s also about keeping them clean and RUST FREE. If you keep long guns in hard cases for significant periods of time, condensation can create rust faster than you realize. A great choice to combat this is the Plano All Weather Gun Case with Rustrictor. This waterproof rifle case fights rust with Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) chemicals infused into resin and foam emitters. With its built-in rust-fighter, this case resists corrosion 5x longer than competing products (per lab testing). The 42″ model is $93.99, while the smaller 36″ rustrictor case is just $74.99. There is also a large 52″ wheeled case for $171.90.

5. Creedmoor Sports — Deluxe 55″ or 60″ Rifle Case, $124.95

creedmoor rifle case
Truly some of the highest-quality soft rifle cases you can buy

Tired of poorly-made soft cases that wear out after one season? If you want to get a top-quality case that will last for years, check out the Creedmoor Blue Deluxe 55″ or 60″ Rifle Case. These are hand-made cases that provide an incredible level of protection with quality fabrics and padding. Smart design, high-grade zippers, and top-quality sewing make a noticeable difference. And right now you can get either the 55″ or 60″ model for $124.45 — a $25 savings off the regular $149.95 price. You will see many of the nation’s top Palma and F-Class shooters using these cases.

6. Bullet Central — Jewell Benchrest Trigger, $169.50

Jewell BR Trigger
Jewell triggers hold world records in multiple disciplines

Jewell triggers have set records and dominated firing lines across the country for good reason. They’re about half the price of other top triggers, can be easily tuned and adjusted and they just work without question. If you need a new competition trigger consider the Jewell Remington 700 BR Trigger (No Safety) model from Bullet Central. Upgrade your rifle for a reasonable price.

7. Natchez — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, $229.99

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale
Best Deal on popular, speedy Scale/Dispenser

Do you need an electronic powder scale/dispenser? Most vendors charge $290-$300 for the popular RCBS ChargeMaster Lite. But now you can get it for just $229.99 at Natchez. You save $70.00, about 24%! The ChargeMaster Lite features an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen and claimed precision of plus/minus 0.1 grains. The unit comes with twin check weights and a convenient plastic cover for the powder pan. If Natchez sells out, you can get the ChargeMaster Lite for $239.99 at Sportsman’s Warehouse.

8. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Hand Deprimer Tool, $44.49

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Hand Deprimer Tool
Deprime fired cartridge brass anywhere — no press needed

Decapping brass can be a tedious and messy chore. Not only does the priming cup come out but so does the anvil and other little bits. Keep it clean and easy but grabbing the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Hand Deprimer Tool and deprime in style. This self-contained unit allows you to decap anywhere and keep all the mess in the capture container. It’s easy on the hands too. With this handy tool you can deprime your bases while watching TV.

9. Amazon — TWO Sets of NRR 28dB Earmuffs, $21.24

shooting hearing protection
Amazing Deal for TWO pairs of NRR 28 muffs

How about a gift for a friend that’s also a gift for you? Pick up this 2-Pack of Mpow Professional Ear Defenders muffs for just $21.24. You can give one set to a buddy and keep one set for yourself. With a 28dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), these muffs have good buyer reviews, with positive comments about comfort and noise reduction. You can’t beat this price for TWO sets of muffs with carry bags included.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
November 22nd, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Jonathan Ocab’s Vudoo/MPA .22 LR for NRL22

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

Today we feature a top-flight tactical .22 LR rig belonging to Jonathan Ocab. A talented Highpower marksman with the Distinguished Rifleman Badge, Jonathan also enjoys rimfire tactical disciplines which he features on his Youtube Channel. Jonathan now runs a monthly NRL22 match in California. His interest in the NRL22 game started with a CZ 455, but soon he stepped up to the impressive rig you see here. This boasts all top-tier components: Vudoo V-22 mag-fed action, Bartlein barrel, MPA Chassis, and Kahles K525i scope. Jonathan carefully selected all this hardware and assembled the rifle himself.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

My Vudoo/MPA Rifle for NRL22 and Long Range Rimfire
Report by Jonathan Ocab, Ocabj.net.
I became interested in rimfire shooting due to not having as much access to longer distance ranges, and the emergence of NRL22 matches. Back in 2017 I had acquired a CZ 455 and ran it in NRL22 club matches. It worked well, but as I started spending most of my time on my club’s rimfire range, I focused on getting a Vudoo Gun Works V-22. The Vudoo V-22 appeared to offer a true repeater that had the feel of a full-sized centerfire rifle along with high accuracy/precision potential.

After a lot of research, I decided to put in an order for a barreled action and acquired a Vudoo Gun Works V-22 action with a 20″ Bartlein barrel, 1-16″ twist, and MTU contour, all in Flat Dark Earth Cerakote (along with a +30 MOA base). I then acquired the TriggerTech Diamond Trigger Pro Curved, Masterpiece Arms BA Comp chassis (in Flat Dark Earth), American Rifle Company M10 34mm rings (28mm height), and Kahles K525i 5-25x56mm SKMR3 LSW scope.

CZ as a Starter NRL22 Option — The CZ 450-series is a solid family of .22 LR rifles, but I wanted to see what existed beyond the CZ level of rimfire rifles. One of my complaints with the CZ 455 is that the trigger leaves much to be desired even with the trigger kits available. Since the Vudoo V-22 action has a Remington 700 footprint and can accept most Rem 700-compatible triggers, I can actually run a top-tier trigger that would exceed anything available for the CZ.

Component Selection for the Ultimate NRL22 Competition Rifle
My choices in components were biased due to my prior experience — I went with quality hardware I knew and trusted…

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

Barrel Choice — I chose the Bartlein barrel over Vudoo’s in-house Ace barrels because I run a Bartlein barrel on my 6mm Creedmoor rifle and I have become a big Bartlein fan. Secondly, I chose the Masterpiece Arms BA Competition chassis because I also run the MPA BA Comp on my 6mm Creedmoor rifle. You can see the two rifles side-by-side below:

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS
You are not seeing double. There are two rifles, both with an MPA Comp BA chassis, and both weighing about 15 pounds. In front is the featured Vudoo-action .22 LR rimfire rig with 20″ barrel, while behind is Ocab’s ARC Mausingfield 6mm Creedmoor PRS/NRL centerfire rig with 24″ barrel.

After running this rifle build for over a year now, I can say that I am more than happy with this platform as I have it configured. Having a .22 LR rifle in the same chassis as my 6mm Creedmoor rifle makes me feel right at home behind either rimfire or centerfire platform. My Vudoo V-22 weighs 15.2 lbs with Atlas CAL bipod while my 6mm Creedmoor rifle build weighs right at 15.0 lbs with the same Atlas CAL bipod. The “feel” and handling of my Vudoo V-22 MPA is as close to a centerfire gun as you can get.

Scope and Rings — I chose the 5-25x56mm Kahles K525i SKMR3 LSW because I was interested in running the Kahles after handling a few K624i and K525i scopes and hearing about how great they tracked. I run ARC M10 rings on several rifles because I think they are superbly designed.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

Trigger Choice — I chose the TriggerTech Diamond because I already have a TriggerTech on one of my centerfire platforms and I wanted to try their Diamond trigger on a gun.

Outstanding Accuracy with Multiple .22 LR Ammo Types — Lapua and SK
My .22 LR ammo of choice is Lapua Center-X. This is the most commonly-chosen ammunition among Vudoo V-22 shooters. I also had good results with SK Rifle Match and Lapua Midas+ in casual 50-yard and 100-yard testing but have stayed with Lapua Center-X because my rifle shot all the lots of Center-X I put into it equally well out to 200 yards.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

SUMMARY — The Vudoo V-22 and MPA Package Is Outstanding
I can hands down recommend the Vudoo Gun Works V-22 for anyone who is interested in getting one. The “full-sized” rimfire rifle segment is not a one-horse race anymore and there are other options out there, but I feel very few will regret going with a Vudoo V-22 over another alternative. If you do not have a centerfire rifle designed for NRL/PRS style of shooting, you could probably just opt to go with a CZ 457 or Tikka T1x and have a lot of room to modify and tailor those rifles to your own tastes and still have an accurate rifle for NRL22. But if you also run a precision centerfire rifle, you should seriously consider a Vudoo V-22 or other 700-pattern rimfire action if purchasing a new .22 LR rimfire rig.

My Vudoo Gun Works V-22 build is an all-purpose gun for me. It is setup for NRL22-style matches but can be utilized for (extreme) long range .22 LR shooting (300 yards and beyond). For that rimfire ELR Game, I am seriously considering getting a Vudoo V-22S (single-shot) action to put in an F-Class stock to have a dedicated ELR .22 LR gun. While I built my Vudoo Gun Works V-22 with NRL22 in mind, I realized this gun could do more so I took it out to shoot 300 yards. After that, I stretched it out to 400 yards and then 500 yards in subsequent range visits. Now I am intrigued by extreme long range .22 LR shooting and often shoot 400 yards and beyond with the Vudoo V-22 when I can.

Long Range .22 LR Rimfire — Out to 500 Yards

Jonathan shoots his competition rifle in Long Range Rimfire matches with targets out to 500 yards. That’s definitely Extreme Long Range for the little .22 LR cartridge, requiring 27.8 MILs of up elevation! Jonathan notes: “I originally had a +30 MOA base on my rifle and it worked fine to 400 yards, but I ran out of adjustment on the K525i to get to 500 and had to hold over. I ended up getting a +40 MOA base.”

NRL22 Competition — Tactical Rimfire Matches
The NRL22 match format is a great shooting discipline. NRL22 offers a high fun factor at relatively low cost. You don’t have to reload match ammo. A couple of 50-round boxes of .22 LR ammo will get you through the match. While some people bring lots of gear to matches, that’s by choice and not by necessity. You can keep it simple and still be competitive (and win).

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

Tips for NRL22 Competitors
I am a match director at my gun club and run our local NRL22 matches. People often ask me for tips for competing in NRL22. First, I recommend getting the course of fire for the month in advance and practicing those stages at the range. Here are other specific tips that should help NRL22 competitors improve their gun-handling and match results.

1. Dry Fire Practice — If you are not able to do live fire practice at the range, I encourage shooters to practice their shooting positions at home via dry fire. Setup props or barricades with pasters or other faux targets on a wall in the garage or inside the house and run through each stage.

2. Scope Magnification Level — The most common issue I see with newer shooters in NRL22 is the tendency to maximize their scope magnification. The timer will start, and the shooter gets into position on a target, but the scope is set to 15x or higher and the shooter can’t find the target. The shooter lowers the magnification, locates the target, and then increases the magnification again, takes the shot, transitions to another target, and repeats the process of decreasing magnification, locating target, etc. Novice NRL22 shooters should try using the mid-range magnification. Try shooting 7x-12x and learn to balance field of view and target image.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS
The author at NRL22 Match at West End Gun Club in San Bernardino, CA.

3. Support Side Shooting — NRL22 matches often include support-side shooting stages. This requires you to shoot with your opposite (non-dominant) hand and eye. I often hear people complain about shooting support-side. My only real tip for this is to actually spend time at the range shooting this way. Practice makes perfect. It’s all a question of learning how to shoot again and using fundamentals. Learn to get a consistent cheek weld and consistent eye relief. If necessary, figure out if you need to set your scope’s diopter for your opposite eye and mark it on the scope.

4. Tripod Practice — Even though tripods are not used in the NRL22 courses of fire, I practice shooting off of a tripod often. I will often setup targets at various distances and spaced far apart to run drills firing shots on each target with the goal of speeding up transitions and target acquisitions. Target acquisition after transition from target to target is where time is lost, so it is good to become efficient in this area.

jonathan Ocab v-22 vudoo action MPA BA Comp chassis rimfire tactical NRL22 sunday gunday Center-X 6mm creedmoor PRS

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November 21st, 2020

Cartridge Comparison Guide Covers 250+ Cartridges

Cartridge Comparison Guide

Cartridge Comparison GuideThe Cartridge Comparison Guide is a remarkably comprehensive 340-page, spiral-bound book. Covering over 250 cartridges, the Second Edition of the Cartridge Comparison Guide is the product of many years of labor by Andrew Chamberlain, a Utah-based hunter. Andrew says his Guide “compares every factory available cartridge from the 17 calibers up to the 50 caliber cartridges”. (Sorry, most wildcat cartridges are not covered.) Chamberlain’s Guide also compiles cartridge data from major ammunition manufacturers such as Barnes, Federal, Hornady, Norma, Nosler, Remington, Sierra, Swift, Weatherby, and Winchester. It shows the optimal velocity achieved for each bullet weight and calculates bullet energy, recoil, and powder efficiency. Large color photos illustrate handgun and rifle cartridges.

The Cartridge Comparison Guide provides data for thousands of cartridge/bullet/velocity combos. Quick reference sheets and ballistics charts cover Trajectory, Velocity, and Energy out to 500 yards. The Cartridge Comparison Guide also offers a firearms lexicon, plus Appendices covering Cartridge Selection for Game Animals, Bullet Selection/Design, Bullet Expansion, and Wound Channel Characteristics.

New Content in Second Edition of Cartridge Comparison Guide
The Cartridge Comparison Guide (Second Edition) costs $29.99 plus shipping and tax. CLICK HERE to visit the Online Store where you can order the 340-page book. Here’s what’s new in the Second Edition:

  • Addition of Shotgun Ammunition (Both Slug and Shot loads).
  • Momentum Calculation for all Rifle, Shotgun and Handgun loads.
  • Integration of Shotgun Slug Ammunition with Center Fire Rifle Data Tables.
  • Factory Load Summary Added (Shows manufacturers and loads produced).
  • One factory load and one hand load for every bullet weight available in each cartridge.
  • Over 90 pages of additional ballistics content (roughly 35% more than in First Edition).

Cartridge Comparison Guide

Great Resource for Hunters
One of Chamberlain’s main goals in creating the Cartridge Comparison Guide was to help hunters select the right cartridge for the job: “This started as a personal project to gather information on the more popular cartridges commonly used for hunting. I wanted to find the best all-around performing cartridge and rifle that a guy on a budget could shoot. I began comparing cartridge performance, versatility, bullet selection, powder efficiency, recoil generation vs. energy produced, standing ballistic data for different environments….”

Black Rifle Cartridge Comparison Guide

The Black Rifle Cartridge Comparison Guide (CCG) was created for semi-auto AR-platform and Modern Sporting Rifle users. The Black Rifle CCG covers virtually all popular rifle, shotgun, and handgun cartridge types used with magazine-fed, semi-automatic black rifles or AR “pistols”. There is information for 50 unique rifle cartridges plus shotgun and handgun cartridges. The book provides ballistics data for all these cartridges via easy-to-use data tables. The tables cover factory ammunition and handloaded cartridges, included the newer .224 Valkyrie.

black rifle cartridge guide book

The data tables compare standardized rifle and handgun cartridges from .17 caliber to up to .50 caliber. The book also provides data for 20-, 16-, and 12-gauge Shotgun cartridges. A handy summary table identifies each rifle cartridge presented and notes if it can be fired from a factory available MSR platform, a semi-custom platform/upper, as well as a semi-custom barrel. This 275-page, spiral-bound book is on sale now for $21.99.

Giant Cartridge Poster for Computer Wallpaper (1665×1080 pixels)
Here’s a great illustration of hundreds of cartridges and shotshell types. For dedicated reloaders, this would work great as desktop “wallpaper” for your computer. CLICK HERE for full-size image.

cartridge poster

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip No Comments »
November 20th, 2020

New SAAMI Cartridges: 277 SIG FURY, 6.5 WBY RPM, 6.8 Western

.277 SIG Fury saami cartridge specification 80000 psi

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc., (SAAMI), has announced the acceptance of three (3) new cartridges for SAAMI standardization: 1) 277 SIG FURY; 2) 6.5 Weatherby Rebated Precision Magnum (WBY RPM); 3) 6.8 Western. While the 277 SIG FURY was developed originally for the U.S. Military, it should serve well for hunters, as will the new 6.5 Weatherby RPM and 6.8 Western. SAAMI has standardized the dimensions, max pressures, and load specs for all these three new cartridges.

277 SIG FURY from SIG Sauer

Developed by SIG SAUER for the U.S. Military, the 277 SIG FURY boasts a SAAMI maximum average pressure of 80,000 psi, driving a 135-grain bullet to 3,000+ fps. That 80K PSI pressure is WAY higher than almost all other cartridge types. To achieve these high pressures, the 277 FURY uses a hybrid case with a brass body and harder alloy metal case head. This design allows the cartridge to run very high pressures. Dan Horner of SIG Sauer told us: “When the handloaders get hold of this brass, it will be a game-changer for sure”. We envision this cartridge could be necked down to 6.5 mm and it would dramatically out-perform the 6.5 Creedmoor. And yes the official name of the cartridge is all caps “277 SIG FURY”.

LINK: 277 SIG FURY official SAAMI Cartridge and Chamber Diagram (PDF)

.277 SIG Fury saami cartridge specfication 80000 psi

.277 SIG Fury saami cartridge specfication 80000 psi

6.5 Weatherby Rebated Precision Magnum

Developed by Weatherby, the 6.5 Weatherby Rebated Precision Magnum (WBY RPM) was introduced with a maximum average pressure of 65,000 psi, with a 140-grain bullet traveling at a velocity of 3,075 fps. The 6.5 WBY RPM offers signficantly higher velocities that most other 6.5mm cartridges, including the 6.5-284 and .265 Win Mag. SEE 6.5 Cartridge Comparison Table

LINK: 6.5 Weatherby RPM official SAAMI Cartridge and Chamber Diagram (PDF)

6.5 weatherby rebated precision magnum cartridge WBY RPM SAAMI

6.8 Western from Winchester

Developed by Olin Winchester, the 6.8 Western was introduced with a maximum average pressure of 65,000 psi, with a .277-caliber 175-grain bullet traveling at a velocity of 2,840 fps. A shorter variant of the Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) family, the new cartridge appears to be about .090″ shorter than the .270 WSM. It has the same 35-degree shoulder angle as the .270 WSM.

LINK: 6.8 Western official SAAMI Cartridge and Chamber Diagram (PDF)

6.8 western rebated precision magnum cartridge western .270 wsm SAAMI

For additional information on these new cartridge designs and other recently accepted cartridge and chamber designs, visit SAAMI.org.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, News, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
November 20th, 2020

Smarter Reloader — Use Expander Mandrels with Your New Brass

Expander Mandrel reloading case neck tension cartridge brass

Before you load that nice new cartridge brass for the first time, run an expander mandrel down the case necks. This will iron out dents and provide more uniform neck tension. Chose a mandrel diameter that provides appropriate neck tension.

Lapua brass is so good that you’ll be tempted to just load and shoot, if you have a “no-turn” chamber. However, some minimal case prep will ensure more uniform neck tension. Keeping your neck tension very uniform allows more consistent bullet seating. That, in turn, usually yields better accuracy, and lower Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation (ES/SD). Lapua brass, particularly 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win comes from the factory with tighter-than-optimal necks. Before you seat bullets, at a minimum, you should inside chamfer the case mouths, after running an expander mandrel down the necks. The expander mandrels from both Sinclair Int’l and K&M will both leave the necks with enough neck tension (more than .001″) so you can then seat bullets without another operation. We suggest putting a bit of lube on the mandrel before running it down the necks — but remove any lube that gets inside the necks before seating bullets.

Sinclair Expander Tool Mandrel

Both Sinclair and K&M Tools make a die body specifically to hold expander mandrels. The Sinclair version, is shown above. This $32.99 unit fits caliber-specific expander mandrels ($9.99) which measure approximately .001″ less than bullet diameter for each caliber. This is an updated “Gen II” design that completely captures the mandrel within the die so the mandrel cannot pull out. It also has an O-ring in the die cap that allows the mandrel to self-center within the case neck. Sinclair now offers three sizes of die bodies for expander mandrels: .17 -.338 Caliber (#749-011-715WS $32.99); .357 – .50 caliber (#749-008-843WS, $32.99), and a special .50 Cal die body for large-diameter 50 BMG presses (#749-009-163WS, $39.99). All Generation II dies are machined from stainless steel and the standard diameter 7/8-14 dies include the Sinclair Stainless Steel Split Lock Ring.

Once you run the Sinclair expander mandrel down the necks of Lapua brass, after you account for brass spring-back, you’ll have about .002″ neck tension*. This will make the process of seating bullets go much more smoothly, and you will also iron out any dents in the case mouths. Once the case mouths are all expanded, and uniformly round, then do your inside neck chamfering/deburring. The same expander mandrels can be used to “neck-up” smaller diameter brass, or prepare brass for neck-turning.

Forum member Mike Crawford adds: “These expanders can also reduce runout from offset seating. Prior to bullet seating, expand the sized necks to force thickness variance outward. With the Sinclair system, the necks will springback fine, and will not be pulled out of center. This leaves plenty of tension, and bullets seated more centered. I do this, even with turned necks, to get improved seating.”

Mandrels vs. Expander Balls on Decapping Rods
If you haven’t acquired an appropriate expander mandrel for your brass, but you DO have a full-length sizing die with an expander ball, this will also function to “iron out” the necks and reduce tension. However, using a die with an expander ball will work the necks more — since you first size them down, then the ball expands them up again. Typically (but not always), run-out is worse when using an expander ball vs. an expander mandrel.


* This .002″ tension is what we have observed with Lapua 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win brass. This might vary with much smaller or larger cases, and of course a different brand of brass might yield different results. If you get too little tension with your current mandrel, you can get a smaller-diameter mandrel from 21st Century Shooting. 21st Century even offers low-friction Titanium Nitride-coated mandrels.

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November 17th, 2020

TECH TIP: Bullet Bearing Surface Length Can Affect Pressure

USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading
Photo 1: Three Near-Equal-Weight 7mm Bullets with Different Shapes

TECH TIP: Bullets of the same weight (and caliber) can generate very different pressure levels due to variances in Bearing Surface Length (BSL).

Bullet 1 (L-R), the RN/FB, has a very slight taper and only reaches its full diameter (0.284″) very near the cannelure. This taper is often seen on similar bullets — it helps reduce pressures with good accuracy. The calculated BSL of Bullet 1 was ~0.324″. The BSL of Bullet 2, in the center, was ~0.430”, and Bullet 3’s was ~ 0.463″. Obviously, bullets can be visually deceiving as to BSL!


This article from the USAMU covers an important safety issue — why you should never assume that a “book” load for a particular bullet will be safe with an equal-weight bullet of different shape/design. The shape and bearing surface of the bullet will affect the pressure generated inside the barrel. This is part of the USAMU’s Handloading Hump Day series, published on the USAMU Facebook page.

Beginning Handloading, Part 13:
Extrapolating Beyond Your Data, or … “I Don’t Know, What I Don’t Know!”

We continue our Handloading Safety theme, focusing on not inadvertently exceeding the boundaries of known, safe data. Bullet manufacturers’ loading manuals often display three, four, or more similar-weight bullets grouped together with one set of load recipes. The manufacturer has tested these bullets and developed safe data for that group. However, seeing data in this format can tempt loaders — especially new ones — to think that ALL bullets of a given weight and caliber can interchangeably use the same load data. Actually, not so much.

The researchers ensure their data is safe with the bullet yielding the highest pressure. Thus, all others in that group should produce equal or less pressure, and they are safe using this data.

However, bullet designs include many variables such as different bearing surface lengths, hardness, and even slight variations in diameter. These can occasionally range up to 0.001″ by design. Thus, choosing untested bullets of the same weight and caliber, and using them with data not developed for them can yield excess pressures.

This is only one of the countless reasons not to begin at or very near the highest pressure loads during load development. Always begin at the starting load and look for pressure signs as one increases powder charges.

Bullet bearing surface length (BSL) is often overlooked when considering maximum safe powder charges and pressures. In photo 1 (at top), note the differences in the bullets’ appearance. All three are 7mm, and their maximum weight difference is just five grains. Yet, the traditional round nose, flat base design on the left appears to have much more BSL than the sleeker match bullets. All things being equal, based on appearance, the RN/FB bullet seems likely to reach maximum pressure with significantly less powder than the other two designs.

Bearing Surface Measurement Considerations
Some might be tempted to use a bullet ogive comparator (or two) to measure bullets’ true BSL for comparison’s sake. Unfortunately, comparators don’t typically measure maximum bullet diameter and this approach can be deceiving.

Photo 2: The Perils of Measuring Bearing Surface Length with Comparators
USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading

In Photo 2, two 7mm comparators have been installed on a dial caliper in an attempt to measure BSL. Using this approach, the BSLs differed sharply from the original [measurements]. The comparator-measured Bullet 1 BSL was 0.694” vs. 0.324” (original), Bullet 2 was 0.601” (comparator) vs. 0.430” (original), and Bullet 3 (shown in Photo 2) was 0.602” (comparator) vs. 0.463” (original). [Editor’s comment — Note the very large difference for Bullet 1, masking the fact that the true full diameter on this bullet starts very far back.]

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November 16th, 2020

Bargain Finder 269: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Winchester .22 LR Wildcat, $219.99

sportsmans warehouse winchester wildcat rimfire .22 LR 22LR rifle sale
Removable lower receiver, Picatinny rails, good trigger, great price

Here is a fun little semi-auto .22 LR rifle at a crazy low price — $219.99 at Sportsman’s Warehouse. The Winchester Wildcat takes Ruger 10/22 mags, and has some great features, such as field-removable lower receiver, ambidextrous controls, integral Picatinny rails and rear barrel access. Here’s a good video that shows this rifle in action. We think you’ll be impressed. It has a good trigger and shoots well. In many respect the Wildcat beats the Ruger 10/22 while costing considerably less.

The Wildcat comes with a Picatinny top rail for optics or electronic sights. A Picatinny rail on the forearm lets you attach an optional bipod, sling mount or other accessory. The lower receiver assembly is easily removed from the upper assembly by pushing a single button located at the rear of the upper assembly with your finger. No tools are required. The Wildcat accepts a wide range of aftermarket magazines that are compatible with the 10/22.

2. Natchez — Leupold Black Friday Optics Sale, Save up to 30%

Natchez black friday sale discount 30% blemished Leupold scopes, rangefinders, spotting scopes, and binoculars
Save Big on Regular and Blemished Leupold Scopes and Optics

The annual Black Friday Sale started early at Natchez Shooter’s Supplies with HUGE savings on regular and blemished Leupold scopes, rangefinders, spotting scopes, and binoculars. You can save 30% or more on blemished items, which still have full factory warranties. For example a “blem” Leupold SX-2 25-60x80mm HD spotter is now $769.99 marked down from $1099.99 — a 30% savings!

3. Sportsman’s Warehouse — AR-15 Rifles from $599.99

sportsmans warehouse MSR AR15 AR-15 semi-auto rifle sale
Get your Black Rifle now while you still can

Now that it looks like we will have a new President who has declared his clear intention of banning mag-fed, semi-auto rifles, maybe it’s time to get that AR-15 while you still can. While ARs are flying off the shelves right now, thankfully Sportsman’s Warehouse still has a large inventory of complete .223 Rem/5.56×45 AR-platform rifles in a variety of configurations. Prices start at $599.99.

4. Midsouth Shooters — RCBS Explorer 2 Reloading Kit, $359.99

RCBS reloading kit press sale November
Good starter kit, with nice press, powder measure and primer tool

With the shortage of factory ammo in many calibers, more folks than ever are turning to hand-loading. Here is a good RCBS Explorer 2 Kit that will get you started. Along with the Reloader Special 5 Press, you get an excellent Uniflow-III Powder Measure, a digital pocket scale, hand priming tool, Powder Funnel, fold-up hex key set, deburring tool, case loading block and spray case lube. And the kit even includes a Speer #15 Reloading manual, with loading procedures and load data.

5. Brownells — KRG Bravo Chassis Rem 700, $329.99 with Code

brownells krg bravo tactical hunting stock internal aluminum precision
Versatile internal frame stock for PRS or hunting — tan, black, or green

The Kinetic Research Group (KRG) Rem 700 Bravo Chassis is a good dual-purpose choice for PRS and hunting. There is an internal aluminum frame with polymer exterior in Flat Dark Earth, Sako Green, or Black. The stock fits Rem 700 and Rem clone actions, accepts AICS-pattern mags, and is M-LOK compatible. The 2.9-lb KRG Bravo chassis features adjustable cheek riser and length-of-pull, built-in thumb shelf, plus quick-detach sling-swivel and bipod mounts. The KRG Bravo stock costs $349.99 at Brownells. You can also get $20 Off with Brownells code VTJ, lowering the net cost to $329.99.

6. Amazon — Teslong Borescope $39.99 or Rigid Version $79.99

teslong digital borescope
Teslong borescopes are game-changers — true “must-have” tool

The Teslong digital borescope has been a huge success. This compact, electro-optical, cable-type borescope outputs sharp, high-resolution images and VIDEO to desktop computers and laptops, and many tablets. Check out our Full Teslong Review complete with inside-the-barrel videos. Get the basic version for $39.99 on Amazon or the rigid version Teslong Borescope for $79.99. If you scope your barrels often, you may prefer the rigid version which is easy to insert and rotate.

7. Sportsman’s Warehouse — RCBS Products on Sale

RCBS black friday reloading tools presses sale
Great Prices on RCBS tools and products — but act soon

Take advantage of Black Friday early at Sportsman’s Warehouse. A wide selection of RCBS products is on sale now, with significant discounts. Save on presses, powder dispensers, case prep centers, dies, priming tools and more. But act fast — items are selling out quickly. For example the RCBS Rock Chucker press, discounted from $179.99 to $143.99 ($36 off) sold out early this morning.

8. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Priming Tool, $69.79

frankford arsenal perfect primer
Precise Depth Control, 12 Shell Holders, Quick-Change, Carry Case

Seating primers to a consistent depth helps deliver enhanced accuracy and low ES/SD. However, most priming systems don’t allow precise depth control. If you’re looking for a priming tool that allows you to adjust primer seating depth, check out the Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer. This tool comes in a protective case along with a full set of case holders and primer flip tray. A quick thumb release system allows you to switch from small to large primers quickly.

9. Precision Reloading — Bullet Sample Kits, $4.17 and Up

Barnes Nosler hunting bullet proof sample 12-pack
Good starter kit, with nice press, powder measure and primer tool

With these Barnes and Nosler Bullet sample kits, you can try a dozen bullets before you make a big investment. And for hunters, a 12-pack of bullets may be all you need for an annual deer hunt. Use our method to zero your hunting rig in 4 rounds, and you have 8 bullets left for game. Precision Reloading offers a variety of Barnes and Nosler Bullet 12-packs, starting at just $4.17. Calibers on sale include .204, .270, .284 (7mm), and .338.

10. Amazon — Howard Leight MAX Earplugs, $8.40/50 Pairs

accurateshooter.com review Max-1 Howard Leight ear plugs

20 Pairs
50 Pairs

Best NRR (33 dB), Very Comfortable, Great Value

These Howard Leight NRR 33 Max Plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling, and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 2-3 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs. NRR 33 is the best Noise Reduction Rating you’ll find for plugs alone. And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot.

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November 15th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: French 6-6.5×47 F-Classer for Aliénore

F-Class 6.5x47 Lapua Toulouse France

Today’s Sunday GunDay Story is a unique and beautiful F-Class rifle from France. This handsome rifle was first featured in our Gun of the Week Archives. This rifle was a gift from husband to wife. Because this is such a unique rifle, with a great back-story, we are reprising this “French Connection” rifle once again.

Europe has a number of capable custom arms makers, and in this article we feature one of them, Christian Salva of Toulouse, France. Here we spotlight an ultra-accurate and handsome 6-6.5×47 Lapua F-Class rifle. Built for a lady, the rifle exhibits flawless craftmanship to match its superior performance.


Alie Gets Her Gun — Thanks to Husband Aurélien

Photos and text by LONASSAC, translation by T.J.E., NRA UK
Aliénore, a charming young French lady, shares her passion for short- and long-range shooting with her husband, Aurélien. Aurélien already owns a 6mmBR PGM Ultima Ratio rifle and decided to have a rifle built for his wife so that they could shoot together. They therefore turned for help to the Christian Salva workshop, located in Toulouse in the south of France, close to their home.

SALVA Walnut Stock–Gorgeous Wood, and Great Ergonomics
Aliénore chose a superb, perfectly-grained French walnut blank for the stock. The stock is a single, solid piece of walnut, with a waxed finish to show off its fine figuring. The stock design is optimized for F-Class, prone and Bench Rest shooting. The fore-end is flat and 3.35″ (85mm) wide, slightly wider than the common 3″ used on most benchrest rifles. On the underside of the forearm is a rail to take a Parker-Hall or a Versa Pod-type bipod. The trigger guard is a custom, light alloy SALVA design. The butt plate is Anschütz-type. It adjusts vertically and can be rotated on its horizontal axis. The cheek piece is adjustable for height only — all that is needed.

Aliénore selected the F-Class Target Rifle from Christian Salva’s range of rifles, which is the one best suited to the type of shooting she wanted to do. Their club’s rifle range, near their home, goes out to 600 meters (See photos above). Unfortunately, as is usual in France, the range does not have a target pit. Members shoot prone using front benchrest-style rests, as in F-Class. The problem is that, without a proper target trench, it’s not possible have individual shots spotted and marked (as would be done in American High Power matches). However, with a good scope, in good light, shot-holes can be seen at 400m, and sometimes even at 600m — but this is rare.

When this rifle was crafted, Christian Salva was one of the few gunsmiths in France who manufactures complete rifles from front sight to butt-plate. With the sole exception of the barrel, he constructs the whole rifle, including action, bolt, trigger and stock. He also does all the bedding and chambering himself. Everything is done to his customer’s specification which, of course, can only be achieved in a small and highly specialized business.

General Rifle Specifications
The rifle was built on a SALVA hexagonal long range action with a flat base, which is set in a highly-figured French walnut stock using a bedding block. The gun is 49″ (125 cm) overall, and weighs 9 kg (about 20 lbs.), including scope. The barrel is 29″ (74cm) long, and a straight 1.22″ (31mm) in diameter. Given the weight and size of the barrel, the decision was made to secure the barreled action into the stock with a bedding block. On top of the action is an angled Picatinny rail with 20-MOA built-in to allow long-range shooting without using up the scope’s internal elevation. The rifle is currently fitted with a Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR scope held in alloy rings.

Details of SALVA Action
The rifle features a light Dural alloy right bolt, right port, single-shot action treated and coated with a champagne-color surface hardener. The action is hexagonal in shape (normal for a French action), with a flat base for improved bedding. On this particular gun, however, the action is floated, with the barreled action secured by the long barrel block. Take a good look at the photo below. Yes, the action on is fully-floated — the barrel block secures the barreled action into the wood stock. This is similar to some Benchreast heavy guns.

F-Class 6.5x47 Lapua Toulouse France

Christian Salva produces his actions from scratch, employing high-tech machinery, including CNC multi-axis mills. The advanced design allows the action to be very strong as well as light. The SALVA action is very thick and sturdy, in spite of its weight being reduced to a minimum. It can chamber cartridges from the 6mmBR size up to magnum calibers such as the 300 Win Mag. A treated steel insert is screwed into the front of the action. This is threaded to receive the barrel and machined to receive the locking lugs of the bolt. The threaded section is especially long (36mm with a 1.5mm thread) so as to ensure proper rigidity for the unit. Where the bolt lever closes, a steel insert, screwed into place with a BTR screw, prevents the steel bolt lever from wearing the softer Dural alloy of the action.

Tri-Lug Bolt with Extractor and Ejector in Lugs
The cylindrical all-steel bolt has a diameter of 0.906″ (23mm) and three (3) front locking lugs. The bolt design has BOTH extractor and ejector placed in locking lugs. Salva’s goal, in engineering the position and operation of both extractor and ejector, was to reduce side pressure on the cartridge. The extractor is designed to hold a cartridge case in place with minimal lateral displacement. The ejector is also built into one of the three lugs. [Editor’s Note: Many modern benchrest actions, such as the Stolle Panda, Stiller Viper, and some BATs employ an extractor in the lug. This is also a feature on Savage bolts and push-feed Model 70 Winchesters. However, these bolts do not have the ejector in a lug as well.]

Remarkably, the ejector has no spring, unlike most bolt designs. It should be noted that this springless ejector is designed to eliminate side pressure when chambering a round, thus keeping the round concentric in the chamber. The ejector is mechanical and will eject the case if the shooter pulls the bolt all the way back. If the shooter prefers to extract the case by hand, one simply pulls the bolt part way back. The 1.5″ (38mm) bolt lever is fairly short, but it has an oversize 30mm polymer knob to facilitate the opening and closing of the bolt.

French Gun, German Barrel — a 29″ Lothar Walther
On Aliénore’s rifle, the barrel is the only component not manufactured by SALVA in Toulouse. For the barrel, Christian Salva chose a stainless Lothar Walther, 6-groove barrel, with a 1:8″-twist for handling 105gr bullets. The muzzle is milled with an 11º slope so as to handle boat-tail VLD bullets. This German-made Walther tube has a 1.22″ (31mm) straight contour and is 29″ (74mm) in length. This long, non-tapered barrel is heavy enough that Salva decided to mount it with an alloy bedding block, about 8″ long (20 cm). Ten Allen-head screws clamp the block to the barrel, while the lower section of the bedding block is secured to the wood stock with eight screws and bedding compound.

Proprietary SALVA Trigger
The trigger is also manufactured by SALVA in its entirety, from Christian’s own design. Overall trigger pull weight adjusts from 50-250 grams (1.8 oz. – 8.8 oz.). The SALVA trigger can also adjust for: Longitudinal trigger position (Length of Pull); Over-travel; Main travel; Second-stage pressure; and Sear engagement.

Cartridge and Load Info
The rifle is chambered in 6-6.5×47 Lapua. Aurélien starts with Lapua 6.5×47 cases. These are then necked-down to 6mm and neck-sized with a .265″ bushing. The necks are turned very slightly, to ensure neckwall uniformity, and achieve a consistent grip on the bullet. Aurélien loads Berger 105gr VLD bullets, pushed by Vihtavuori N160 powder and small magnum primers. His preferred load is 38.2 grains of N160 with a cartridge overall length (COAL) of 2.732″ (69.40 mm). With this load, muzzle velocity is 2854 fps (870 meters per second) chronographed one meter from the muzzle. [Editor’s note–this is a very mild load. The 6-6.5×47 can drive 105-grainers over 3100 fps.]

How the Rifle Shoots

Smooth Function + Great Accuracy
When firing using a front rest, the recoil of a 9 kg, 6-6.5×47 Lapua rifle is minimal and ideal for a lady. The operation of the rifle is trouble-free, even if a few rounds were initially a bit stiff on loading for the first time. Thereafter everything sorted itself out very nicely. The action of the bolt is solid and one can feel that everything is very snug and that the tolerances are properly tight.

The versatile trigger rivals the best benchrest triggers, with the additional bonus of a single- or two-stage operation. That said, with a minimum pull-weight of 50 grams (1.8 oz.) perhaps the term “two-stage” is not the best description, since it is difficult to detect a let-off point at that weight. The trigger can be set to be a very light, single-stage let-off.

The rifle is fitted with a Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR model scope. This high-magnification optic enables the shooter to see his/her bullet holes at 400 meters in good light. This is very useful when it comes to adjusting for wind. The stock’s adjustability and ergonomics allow the shooter to feel comfortable using this rifle. The Anschütz butt-plate and easily-adjustable height of the cheek piece help in that regard.

This rifle has demonstrated some impressive accuracy. Below is a group shot by Aurélien at 400 meters (437.4 yards) on C200 targets. Using OnTarget group measuring software, we calculated this 5-shot group at 0.555″ or 0.121 MOA. That’s remarkable for a gun shooting long, VLD-style bullets. At 100 meters the rifle has yielded “one-ragged hole” groups.

alie rifle 6-6.5x47 accuracy

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November 15th, 2020

Make Your Own Ammo Caddy for Under Ten Bucks

Flex Arm Flexible Port Level gooseneck Ammo Block caddy

Whether you should from the bench, or from prone, it’s great to have your cartridges in a convenient, easy-to-reach position. This article explains how you can build your own height-adjustable ammo caddy for under ten bucks. Credit Martin Tardif for this great Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project. Martin’s flex-arm caddy design works great for F-Open competitors as well as anyone who shoots with a pedestal front rest, either on the ground or from a bench. The ammo caddy attaches, via a flexible arm, to your front rest. The flexy arm allows you to position your ammunition close to your rifle’s feeding port. That makes it easy to grab cartridges and load them into the chamber without shifting your shooting position.

Kudos to Martin Tardif for his clever use of inexpensive materials. The total cost of the whole project, according to Martin, was just $8.00!

Martin Explains How to Build the Ammo Caddy
Here are some pics of my DIY P.L.A.B. (Port Level Ammo Block). I cannibalized the goose neck from a Craftsman bendy-style utility light and bought a 3.5″x 1″ Acetal disk on eBay. I then drilled out the disk to accept twenty .284 Winchester rounds and screwed the disk to the bendy arm. The arm, by itself, wasn’t sturdy enough to support my fully loaded ammo block, so I inserted a 1/8″-diameter steel rod cut to length into the arm before I screwed it to the disk. On this Bald Eagle rest, I wasn’t using the windage adjustment cable. That allowed me to secure the bottom end of the arm to the unused 5/16″ x 18 bolt hole for the cable. [Editor’s Note: For other pedestal rest types/brands you may need to drill a hole for the base of the flexy arm.]

Flex Arm Flexible Port Level gooseneck Ammo Block caddy

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November 13th, 2020

Criterion Barrel — Great Accuracy with Creedmoor Sports Ammo

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

Superb Accuracy with Criterion Pre-Fit Barrel and Creedmoor Sports Ammo
Check out that 0.188″ group. Can you believe that was shot with factory .308 Win ammo? A while back our friends at Criterion Barrels tested some .308 ammo from Creedmoor Sports. This was loaded with Lapua’s 175gr Scenar HPBT bullet in Lapua brass. The results speak for themselves. Any time factory ammo can shoot inside quarter-MOA, that’s impressive. This ammo was used in a “Rem/Age” project rifle. That term refers to a Remington action rifle that has been re-barreled with a pre-fit Criterion barrel. The new barrel is secured with a Savage-style barrel nut. Hence the term “Rem/Age” or “Rem-Age”.

shooting target accurateshooter load developmentCriterion posted: “I think we may have a new favorite factory match load for the nitrided Rem/Age build.” Another reader added: “[Creedmoor’s] 175 Scenar .308 ammunition is top notch.” FYI, this group was shot on our load development target, which you can download for free from our Targets Page.

Why do Criterion barrels shoot so well? One reason is that Criterion’s barrel steel is carefully stress-relieved. In the photo below, Criterion Rack 1A (aka the “Coffin”) has been loaded with barrel blanks — made ready for the stress-relieving process.

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

Working with Pre-Fit Barrels
While they may require the purchase of some additional tools and a bit of a learning curve to install, using Rem/Age pre-fit barrels offer advantages over gunsmith chambering and barrel-fitting. In this video, 8541 Tactical explains how to install a Criterion 6.5 Creedmoor “pre-fit” barrel. You save money and time — you don’t have to wait for a gunsmith to chamber the barrel. While Criterion recommends that a competent gunsmith oversee the pre-fit installation, if you understand the use of go/no-go gauges and you have a barrel vise and action wrench set up to remove the original barrel, putting on a pre-fit barrel CAN be a DIY project. You don’t have to pack up your rifle to ship it off to a smith.

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November 13th, 2020

Top 4 Armageddon Cup Competitors Used Hornady A-Tip Bullets

hornady armageddon cup a-tip bullets
Armageddon Gear Founder Tom Fuller competes in PRS and supervised the 2020 AG Cup.

We know many readers have wondered if Hornady A-Tip bullets are good enough for competition. Well at least in the PRS world, it looks like these aluminum-tipped, high-BC bullets are more than capable of winning. The top four shooters in the 2020 Armageddon Gear Cup all used 110gr 6mm Hornady A-Tips. Of course in PRS/NRL, accuracy standards are different. In the hands of a very good PRS shooter, a half-MOA rifle can win. PRS is not benchrest where you need bullets that can shoot in the “ones”. But still, this is an impressive performance for Hornady’s A-Tips, at least in PRS-type tactical competition.

Hornady A-Tip bullets were used by the first, second, third, and fourth place competitors at the 2020 Armageddon Gear Cup match, held October 30-31 in Blakely, Georgia. Austin Orgain took first place, followed by Robert Brantley (2nd), Tate Streater (3rd), and Dave Preston (4th). All four shooters were using Hornady 6mm 110-grain A-Tips. Winner Austin Orgain stated “A-Tip bullets are the most forgiving bullets I have ever loaded… Combine a high-quality bullet with high BCs, you have a winning combination.”

hornady armageddon cup a-tip bullets

The Hornady A-Tip was designed as a low drag, high-BC match bullet. The most striking features of A-Tip bullets are the long, aluminum tips. The highly-uniform aluminum tips are precision-machined. Hornady claims that these tips “coupled with highly refined AMP bullet jackets… and optimized boattails” yield reduced drag compared to other bullets of similar weight.

About the Armaggedon Gear Cup Match
2020 marked the second year of the Armageddon Gear (AG) Cup, an invitational match at the 2300-acre Arena Training Facility in Georgia. This year showcased an all-star line-up of tactical talent, with the nation’s top PRS/NRL shooters invited. This is a big money event. In 2019 $41,000 in prize money was up for grabs, with the overall match winner guaranteed twenty thousand ($20,000) in cash and a $1000 prize for the winner of each of the 20 Stages. You can watch last year’s AG Cup on Shooting USA’s Vimeo Channel.

armageddon gear cup georgia shooting usa

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November 12th, 2020

AutoTrickler V3 Tips — Set-up, Optimization, Maintenance

Adam MacDonald Autotrickler v3 autotrhow powder dispenser video F-Class john

Top rifle competitors use the AutoTrickler system because it offers a superior combination of speed and precision in dispensing powder loads. With an AutoTrickler fitted to a compatible lab-grade magnetic force restoration scale, you can achieve single-grain weight consistency with your hand-loads. That kind of load weight uniformity does help deliver low ES/SD that translates to reduced vertical at long range. Adam MacDonald’s AutoTrickler system is so good that it can truly be called a “game-changer” in the precision handloading world.

As good as the AutoTrickler may be, there are some simple ways to keep it functioning better, or to improve your productivity. Here are three videos by F-Class John that provide very helpful tips for AutoTrickler owners. The first video shows general set-up and installation. The second video shows a simple but brilliant trick to speed up the process — use two identical powder measure cups shaved to be the EXACT same weight. In third video, F-Class John shows important maintenance tips to keep your AutoTrickler components running smoothly and quietly.

AutoTrickler V3 — General Set-Up and Operational Advice

In this video, John offers some general advice for setting-up the AutoTrickler system. He explains how you can get the machine optimized. For example he notes that you want to set the initial drop weight (from the powder measure) in an optimal range: “When you set the original drop you need it to be about 1 to 1.5 grains below. Some people set it too close to the final weight they want and it actually doesn’t let the trickler unit work as efficiently, consistently and accurately as it will if you start 1 to 1.5 grains low.”

John also explains how to hook up the cords and how to position the trickler unit. John places his AutoTrickler on a 30-lb piece of granite, with a thin polymer “anti-static” pad on top. John also uses a line conditioner and grounding wire to provide the best electrical flow to the scale and trickler. Interestingly, the granite was an inexpensive “surplus” piece taken from a kitchen top installation.

John also shows how the angle of the trickler unit can be adjusted. Another smart tip involves marking the white trickler tube belt bushing. That makes it is easier to discern slow movement and determine when the trickler is completely stopped.

If you own an AutoTrickler or plan to purchase one, we definitely recommend you watch this entire video.

Are you experience chattering when powder is dispensed? John also explains (3:20 – 5:30 time mark) how to replace a small rubber “wiper” part in the dispenser unit. This can help prevent chattering or kernel-cutting as the powder charge drops into the pan from above.

Use Two Identical-Weight Powder Cups to Load Faster

In this second video, F-Class John shows how you can use TWO identical powder cups to speed up your reloading. This is a VERY clever and relatively inexpensive upgrade. You can use 600-grit wet sandpaper to make the weight of the twin cups absolutely identical. John says: “I just lightly sanded the bottom of these until they both weighed exactly the same on my scale.” He can now use one cup to load a case while the other cup is receiving the next powder charge.

AutoTrickler V3 General Maintenance Tips

If you have been running an AutoTrickler for quite some time, you have probably noticed some noise or vibration. This video shows some very simple maintenance procedures that will have your AutoTrickler running great again. F-Class John reveals some components that can get dirty or worn after considerable use. The video identifies the items that may require a cleaning or adjusting. In the video John shows how to do those tasks quickly and easily.

Adam MacDonald Autotrickler v3 autotrhow powder dispenser video F-Class john

In the last three minutes of the above video John shows an important process involving the trickler unit motor. The motor’s attachment screws tend to loosen slightly over time. After removing the pulley drive wheel, you want to gently tension the four Phillips screws. Then reattach the wheel and drive belt. Doing this simple process should reduce unwanted vibration.

Adam MacDonald Autotrickler v3 autotrhow powder dispenser video F-Class john

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November 10th, 2020

Recoil Comparison — .223 Rem vs. 6mmBR vs. .308 Win

6mmBR NormaMany visitors to the site ask us, “I’ve got a .223 and .308. What will a 6mmBR Norma (6BR) give me that I’m not getting already?” Well first you may well average somewhat smaller groups than your current .223 or .308 rifle (assuming the 6BR has a quality barrel and trigger). A good .308 Winchester can be superbly accurate, no question about that, but the lesser recoil of the 6BR works in the shooter’s favor over a long string of fire. Even with a Rem 700 or Savage action factory action, a 6BR with a benchrest stock, premium barrel, and a high-quality chambering job should deliver 5-shot groups in the high twos to mid-threes, provided you do your job. We have one 6BR rifle that shoots Lapua factory-loaded 6BR ammunition in the low twos and high ones. That’s exceptional, we admit, but it still shows how the 6BR is an inherently accurate cartridge, even with factory loads.

Compared to a .223, the 6BR offers a better selection of high-BC projectiles and small-maker match projectiles (such as Bart Sauter’s “Hammer” and the Vapor Trail line). The 6BR will also deliver considerably more power on the target. Compared to the .308 shooting 168gr MatchKings, a 6BR shooting 105-107gr bullets offers better ballistics all the way out to 1000 yards. (The story changes with .308s with very long barrels pushing the 180-210 grain projectiles). Plus, for most people, the 6BR is just easier to shoot than a .308. Recoil is less than half of the .308 Win cartridge. Both the .308 and 6BR chamberings offer good barrel life, but the 6BR uses 15-18 grains less powder, saving you money. Here’s how the 6BR stacks up vs. a number of popular calibers:

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November 9th, 2020

Bargain Finder 268: Accurateshooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Palmetto — Tactical 12ga Shotgun, Two Stocks + Case, $599.99

12ga gauge tactical shotgun thumbhole stock discount
With 2 stocks and 2 barrels, this is like having two different 12ga shotguns

12ga gauge tactical shotgun thumbhole stock discountTactical shotguns have been hot sellers in 2020, given the social unrest and need to safeguard home and business. Here is a great shotgun deal. The Black Aces Tactical Pro Series X package features 2 barrels, 2 stocks, and multiple choke tubes. You even get a special fitted carry case. This Pro Series shotgun’s components include: 18.5″ and 24″ Barrels (with 3 chokes included); Standard Full Stock; Additional 6-Position, Side-Folding Tactical Stock; 4+1 standard capacity, +2 extension, and +6 extension. The receiver features Hi-Viz sights and Picatinny rail.

2. Natchez — RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit, $394.99

rcbs rebel master loading kit
Good value for everything you need, hard to find right now

With the high price of ammo, more people than ever are loading their own ammo. A good basic package is the RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit. On sale for $394.99 at Natchez, this RCBS Package features pretty much all you need to load rifle and pistol ammo: Rebel single-stage Press, Uniflow-III Powder Measure, digital scale, hand priming tool, powder funnel, powder trickler, hex key set, accessory handle with case neck brushes, primer pocket brushes, deburring tool, loading block, and case lube. You even get a Speer Reloading Manual. NOTE: You can buy this same Rebel Master Kit for $399.99 at Cabelas.com.

3. Precision Reloading — VihtaVuori Powder In-Stock

vihtavuori powder
These powders deliver winning ammo in many disciplines

Popular powders remain in high demand and hard to find. But Precision Reloading has the excellent Vihtavuori line of powders in stock right now for immediate shipping. You can find nearly every VihtaVuori powder in stock including the harder-to-find N133, N150, and N165 and lots of others. We use clean-burning VV for our pistol loads, and N133 remains the #1 choice of short-range benchrest competitors. Grab some VV powder now while supplies last.

4. Midway USA — Walker Razor Muffs with Walkie-Talkie, $59.99

walker razor headphones
Dual-function electronic muffs — great for range communications

Electronic earmuffs protect your hearing while allowing you to hear range commands. With these special Walker Walkit-Talkie muffs you also get long-range communication capabilities. That’s great as you can talk to folks in the pits or friends on a different section of your shooting club. The Walker Razor Slim Low Profile Electronic Earmuffs (NRR 23dB) with Free Walkie Talkie comes with a walkie talkie function that allows you to communicate with other FRS radios. That lets you give range commands or talk with friends without the need for a second radio. You get two-for-one functionality all for just $59.99. This is a GREAT deal.

5. EuroOptic — Bushnell Tactical Scope Sale, Up To 54% off

bushnell tactical scope sale
Huge Discounts for excellent Tactical scopes for ARs, PRS, Hunting

Picking up a great scope for a steal of a price isn’t always easy but we have one of those deals for you. Check out the Bushnell Tactical Scope Sale over at EuroOptic where there’s a small but mighty selection of scopes at prices up to 54% off. These are great scopes at very attracive prices (up to $750 off) so grab one now before they’re gone.

6. Amazon — Large Digital Display Timer, $12.95

shooting timer
Use in Matches — Count-Down or Count-UP, handy big buttons

If you shoot in a discipline with time limits, or you time your firing strings during practice, having a reliable and easy-to-read timer is critical. One of our favorite timers is this very affordable Digital Display Timer with both count-up and count-down functions. It boasts an easy-to-read display and LARGE buttons making it perfect for F-Class, Palma, and other matches. This timer comes with both a built-in stand AND a strong magnet so you can position the timer conveniently.

7. Amazon — Tactical Shooting Bags, $23.99

shooting bags
Versatile 2-Bag Combo set, ready for your choice of filling

To shoot accurately, you want good front and rear support for your rifle. Sandbags offer an affordable support solution that is also easy to transport. Front sandbags are good for sighting in hunting rifles and they are very handy for tactical matches. Check out this Tactical Shooting Bag Set from East TN. Outfitters. For a bargain $23.99 price, you get BOTH front and rear bags. The front bag features handy bullet loops and Molle Web straps. These bags come ready to fill with anything from sand to plastic BBs.

8. Natchez — Bushnell 2.5-10x44mm SFP Scope + Knife, $189.99

bushnell scope sale
Great Deal PLUS nice hunting knife with 5 blades

The Bushnell Nitro 2.5-10×44 SFP 30mm Rifle Scope is a solid, reliable optic. And right now if you purchase this riflescope for just $189.99 you get a FREE Havalon hunting knife. This Bushnell Nitro optic features good light transmission and EXO Barrier lens coating that repels water, oil, dust, debris and scratches. Buyers have given this scope very good reviews: “This [scope] is way better than I expected for the money. I liked it so well I ordered another one.” Not only do you get the scope at nearly half off but you also get a free set of Havalon knives with FIVE replaceable blades.

9. Amazon — Tipton Carbon Fiber Cleaning Rods, From $23.99

tipton cleaning rods
Buy 2 or 3 at this price — durable and nice handles

Rifle shooters all need good cleaning rods with appropriate dimensions for their barrel length(s). If you need a new cleaning rod, check out the Tipton 1-Piece Deluxe Cleaning Rods. We own and use these rods, which feature a carbon fiber shaft and multiple bearings for smooth operation. Available in multiple lengths and calibers, you’ll certainly find one that fits your long guns. When shopping on Amazon, use the “SELECT” button to choose your preferred length, from 12″ to 50″. We like the 44″ version for barrels up to 30″. NOTE: Some sizes are cheaper at MidwayUSA.com so check both vendors before you order.

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November 8th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: 2020 F-TR Mid-Range Nat’l Champ .308 Win

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Story based on Report by Bryan Blake, Blake Machine Company
Here’s the gold medal-winning .308 Win rifle of the 2020 F-TR National Mid-Range Champion, Andy Cyr. Arizona native Cyr won the F-TR Mid-Range Championship with an impressive score of 1761-72X out of a possible 1800 points. At this three-day Mid-Range event at Ben Avery in Phoenix, all 180 rounds were shot at 600 yards. Andrew delivered a convincing victory, winning by NINE points over runner-up James Crofts, a past national champion himself. We congratulate Andrew on his impressive win. And today’s Sunday GunDay feature examines the details of Andrew’s impressive .308 Win F-TR rifle.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Cyr Overcame Incredibly Tough Conditions at Ben Avery
After Day One of the Mid-Range Nationals, Andy was in 5th place. Andy made up some serious ground on the next two days despite winds that were well into the 20 MPH+ range. In fact, many experienced shooters took misses (not hitting the scoring ring) because the winds were so fierce. Interestingly, Andy’s 1761-72X score beat all but eight F-Open shooters.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Andrew Cyr’s .308 Win F-TR rifle during load development and accuracy testing.

F-TR Mid-Range Championship-Winning .308 Win Rifle Specifications:
Blake Barrel and Rifle 32″ .30 Caliber, 1:11″-twist barrel with custom specs
McMillan XIT Stock (lightened with ports on butt area)
Borden BRM Action
Kahles K1050 10-50x56mm Scope
Phoenix Bipod with F-Class Products lowering kit and skeleton legs

Andrew Cyr’s Championship-winning F-TR rifle was built by Phoenix-based Blake Barrel and Rifle (BBR) in 2018. Interestingly, this rifle was originally built for Andy’s daughter Jessica. The rifle was used by Andy a few months later. The rifle features a severely-lightened XIT stock with the grip smoothed out. Andy was actually the first customer of Blake Barrel and Rifle back in 2018. He has always been willing to try out new rifling profiles, twist rates, and barrel configurations as recommended by BBR.

Bryan Blake tells us: “Many customers demand exact specs and there is no way of changing their mind, even if it is factual-based. With Andy he was always willing to try new things, some things didn’t work well, but some things worked very well, just like the barrel used to win the Nationals.” Andy preferred a heavier barrel in the chamber area than most TR shooters. The shank diameter is 1.350″ rather than 1.250″. What this does is keep as much material around the chamber, which is the hottest area of the barrel. That way the barrel is less affected by heat over a string of fire, since the heat can be dissipated into a larger area.

Andy used a 32″ barrel, a length not commonly used in F-TR anymore. Most are running 30″ or even 28″ now. Many folks think a shorter barrel is more accurate so these competitors do not use a 32″ barrel. Well as you can see by his results, Andrew’s 32″ tube shot great. The extra length was NOT a handicap. We should remember that longer barrels can normally produce higher velocities than shorter barrels or deliver equivalent speeds with less pressure.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Many people also believe that a 1:9-10″ twist is needed to shoot 200-grain class bullets out of a .308 Win accurately. However, Andy took the advice of Blake Barrel and Rifle, and went with a 1:11″-twist Blake cut-rifled barrel. Many would say this twist is too slow, and some online calculators say a 1:11″-twist won’t fully stabilize 200-grain bullets. Obviously this is also not the case. Andy’s 11-twist and Berger 200-grain Hybrid bullets (NOT 200.20X bullets) work very well with this combination. NOTE: Andy uses an F-Class Products barrel tuner to tune his load. He will sometimes even alter tune between relays to compensate for changing barometric conditions.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Winning .308 Win Load — Lapua Palma Brass, VV N550, CCI 450s, Berger 200gr Hybrids
Andy Cyr took the Mid-Range title loading Vihtavuori N150 powder, CCI 450 primers, Berger 200gr Hybrids, and Lapua .308 Win Palma brass. Andy does not push his bullets very fast and finds a big accuracy node at the mid-2600 FPS range. He jumps his bullets .015″ off the lands. One thing Andy consistently does is test, test, test. He will test different powders, charge weights, seating depths nearly every time he is at the range. He will shoot a different load for each string to see what works best.

Profile of 2020 F-TR Mid-Range National Champion — Andrew Cyr
Father and Daughter Compete Together

Andy started shooting F-Class in 2012 to help him shoot better in the PRS series. He hoped to learn to read the wind better and get more experience in long-range shooting in general. After shooting F-Class he was hooked and found he enjoyed it more than PRS. Andy and his daughter Jessica have shot many state matches together, with both of them shooting F-TR. Jessica owned the Mid-Range 20-shot woman’s Aggregate record for years with a score of 200-11X. Interestingly Andy shot his very first clean at 1000 yards at the Nationals in Raton, NM in 2018 with a score of 200-11X also. This year Andy started using a spotting scope to help read mirage and it has helped him tremendously he reports.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

The “Master” Beat the “High Masters”
Andy is currently classified in Mid-Range as a Master for F-Class, not yet High Master. Even after winning the F-Class Mid-Range Nationals, the most prestigious F-Class match of the year, he is still classified as a Master. Andy’s 1761-72X score works out to 97.8% of a perfect 1800. But the requirement for F-Class High Master is 98%. That just shows you how tough the conditions were at Ben Avery this year. But still the Master beat ALL the High Masters — if you look at the score sheet above, all the other Top 10 F-TR competitors were High Masters. Impressive. And we believe Andy is the first Arizona resident to ever win a national F-Class Championship in either F-Open or F-TR.

About Blake Barrel and Rifle
Blake Barrel and Rifle (BBR) has been in business since 2018. BBR built the rifle that Brian Bowling used to win the 2019 F-Open National Championship. And now another ultra-accurate BBR-built rifle has won the 2020 F-TR Mid-Range Championship. Bryan Blake tells us that Blake Barrel and Rifle has recently upgraded BBR’s rifle barrel building equipment. There are advanced CNC lapping machines, CNC bore-honing machines, and all-new, proprietary rifling cutter designs that no one else in the barrel business uses.

Blake Barrel and Rifle produces cut-rifled, 6-groove barrels with a unique rifling profile no other barrel manufacturer is using. Blake barrels have an impressive winning record in recent major competitions — earning National Championships, plus many match wins and podium performances. Bryan Blake tells us that “The time and quality control spend on Blake barrels is second to none and the proof in the results.” For more information, visit Blakebarrel.com.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action


Blake Barrel and Rifle | Blake Machine Company

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November 8th, 2020

Inside Neck Chamfer Tools — A Bevy of Options and Angles

Neck case chamfer tools Redding Forster Rocket model 15-p
Shown is the Redding Model 15-P Competition Piloted Inside Chamfering Tool with pilot rod that centers in the case flash hole. Also shown is a Forster 45° Rocket Tool.

There are a wide variety of reloading tools designed to cut a slight chamfer in case necks and deburr the edge of the case mouth. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for an effective tool. A basic “rocket-style” 45° chamfering tool, such as the Forster, actually does a pretty good job taking the sharp edge off case mouths, particularly if you use a little scotch-pad (or steel wool) to smooth the edge of the cut. The Forster chamfer tool, shown below, is a nicely-made product, with sharper cutting blades than you’ll find on most other 45° chamferers. It costs $20.99 at Brownells.com.

forster rocket 45 degree neck chamferer chamfer tool

Redding sells a handy piloted chamfering tool with a 15° inside cutting angle and removable accessory handle. This Redding Model 15-P chamferer works really well, so long as you have consistent case OALs. The pilot rod (which indexes in the flash hole) is adjustable for different cartridge types (from very short to very long). This ensures the concentricity of the inside neck chamfer to the case mouth. This quality tool works with cases from .22 to .45 Caliber.

Neck case chamfer tools Redding Forster Rocket model 15-p

Sinclair International offers a 28° carbide chamferer with many handy features (and sharp blades). The $28.99 Sinclair Carbide VLD Case Mouth Chamfering Tool will chamfer cases from .14 through .45 caliber. This tool features a removable 28° carbide cutter mounted in the green plastic Sinclair handle. NOTE: A hex-shaft cutter head power adapter can be purchased separately for $14.99 (Sinclair item 749-002-488WS). This can be chucked in a power screwdriver or used with dedicated power drives when doing large volumes of cases.

Neck inside chamfer chamferer case neck tool

Many folks feel they can get smoother bullet seating by using a tool that cuts at a steeper angle. We like the 22° cutter sold by Lyman. It has a comfortable handle, and costs just $11.54 at MidsouthShooterssupply.com. The Lyman tool is an excellent value, though we’ve seen examples that needed sharpening even when new. Blade-sharpening is easily done, however.

K&M makes a depth-adjustable, inside-neck chamferer (“Controlled Depth Tapered Reaper”) with ultra-sharp cutting flutes. The latest version, which costs $53.25 at KMShooting.com, features a central pin that indexes via the flash hole to keep the cutter centered. In addition, the tool has a newly-designed handle, improved depth-stop fingers, plus a new set-screw adjustment for precise cutter depth control. We caution, even with all the depth-control features, if you are not careful, it is easy to over-cut, slicing away too much brass and basically ruining your neck. We think that most reloaders will get better results using a more conventional chamfer tool, such as the Forster or Redding 15-P.

K & M K&M neck chamferer reamer controlled depth

One last thing to note — tools like the K&M and the Sinclair chamferer are often described as VLD chamferers. That is really a misnomer, as bullets with long boat-tails actually seat easily with very minimal chamfering. In reality, these high-angle chamferers may be most valuable when preparing brass for flat-base bullets and bullets with pressure rings. Using a 22° or 28° chamferer can reduce the risk of cutting a jacket when using VLD bullets though — so long as you make a smooth cut.

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November 7th, 2020

MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chrono — Great Performance and Value

magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

If you have been waiting to purchase a chronograph… now is a great time to buy. You can get the affordable MagnetoSpeed Sporter for under $160.00! You can set up this device in a few minutes, and you never have to go downrange to fiddle with a tripod or fuss with wires. The MagnetoSpeed Sporter is simple and effective — a no-hassle solution.

See MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph Features Reviewed in Video

We’re impressed by the Sporter chrono, as are other shooters — this unit is very popular. Like the MagnetoSpeed V3, the Sporter faithfully records shots, even in complete darkness. Shot strings are recorded digitally and can be transferred to a smart phone via MagnetoSpeed’s XFR accessory (and Apps).

The MagnetoSpeed Sporter chrono is less than half the price of previous MagnetoSpeed models. This is big news for shooters who always wanted a MagnetoSpeed but found the $379.00 cost (for V3 model) too pricey. The Sporter Chronograph costs just $159.99 at MidwayUSA (see below) and $179.00 at Amazon.

The Magnetospeed Sporter offers most of the features of the more expensive models (see chart below for details) and has a updated sensor. MagnetoSpeed says its new Sporter is “Ideal for contoured rifle barrels (sporter barrels) and long-barreled revolvers.” The Sporter Chronograph Kit (shown above) includes: Bayonet Sensor, 3.5 foot Data Cable, Remote Display (with Battery), Strap with thumb nut, Two V-block spacers, and compact storage box.

Q: Will the Sporter Chrono work with thicker barrel (i.e. greater than 1″ diameter)?

A: The manufacturer recommends the $399.00 V3 model for thicker barrels. But, wink-wink, if you have a 1.25″ barrel you can get this to work, based on what we’ve seen.. If you have a really fat barrel (up to 2.0″ diameter), get the V3. Magnetospeed also says the V3 is needed for airguns, shotguns, and muzzleloaders.

Click Image for Full-Screen Photo
magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

The Sporter Chrono attaches quickly and easily. It has a 3.5-foot-long cord, and will work with Muzzle Brakes and Flash-hiders up to 2.7″ long.

magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

Magnetospeed sporter MidwayUSA chron chronograph

This post essentially puts twenty bucks in your pocket if you need a chronograph. You see the MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chrono typically costs around $180.00 from most vendors. But right now MidwayUSA is running a special — the true “shopping cart price” is $159.99. That’s $20.00 cheaper than Midway’s regular $179.99 price, and $19.00 cheaper than the lowest price we found anywhere else. But this special “Shopping Cart Discount” may not last long, so you may want to act quickly. We confirmed Midway’s $159.99 price on the morning of November 7, 2020.

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November 2nd, 2020

Bargain Finder 267: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Natchez — Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper, $179.99

frankford arsenal intellidropper
Fast, programmable, accurate dispenser at great price

The Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper is a high-quality powder scale dispenser. It’s accurate to +/- one-tenth of a grain, dispenses in seconds, and can be controlled by a handy mobile App that can store various charges weights for different cartridges. This unit has a 7000-grain capacity with both Auto and manual trickle capability. IMPORTANT: You need to add item to online cart to see the $179.99 SALE PRICE.

2. MidwayUSA — Vortex Viper HD Scopes, Save up to $210

frankford arsenal intellidropper
Good Choice for Varmint Rifle or Factory Class Matches

Here are two great optics bargains. The Vortex Viper HD 6-24x50mm is $389.99, marked down 35%. That’s a great zoom range for a varmint rifle at a killer price. If you want something lighter and smaller for a game-hunting rig, check out the Vortex Viper HD 4-15x44mm scope for $379.99, 30% off. These are both great bargains, and MidwayUSA has other Vortex Vipers on sale.

3. CDNN Sports — 9mm Walther Creed + Shooter’s Kit, $449.99

9mm Walther Creed case shooters kit cleaning snake eyewear
Get 9mm pistol and complete kit for under $450 total

With the current high demand for self-defense pistols, many retailers are sold out of name brand 9mm compact handguns. With this deal from CDNN Sports, you get the quality Walther Creed 9mm pistol, PLUS a full set of accessories, all for a low $449.99 price. The kit includes: 3 Magazines, Mag loader, Twin Mag Pouch, Cleaning Kit, 4 Barrel Badger boresnakes, Champion Shooting Eyewear, and a durable Range Size Hard Carry Case. Great package for $449.99.

4. Cabela’s & Bass Pro — Remington 700 ADL Varmint, $419.97


Factory seconds bullets

Remington 700 ADL $80 Off — good basis for many projects

Both Cabela’s and Bass Pro are now selling this rifle for $419.97 — a great price on a Rem 700 ADL rifle. Offered in .223 Rem, .22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, or .308 Win, this 8.5-lb rifle can be a good hunting rig as is, or you can upgrade trigger and/or stock. Buyer reviews have been positive: “I bought this gun in the 6.5 CM… It’s made a great project gun … worth the money.” IMPORTANT — When you visit the Cabela’s or Bass Pro website, the site may show the rifle out-of-stock at the store near you. Don’t despair — this rifle can be shipped to a Cabela’s or Bass Pro store in your state. You need to select “Order Online” and then select “ship to store”. You then pick up the gun at the nearest Cabela’s or Bass Pro store.

5. Brownells — Monarch 16-48x60mm Spotting Scope, $980.99

nikon spotting scope ED hunting
Great glass, fairly compact, good for hunting + competition

We have used this Monarch ED spotter in the field. It has exceptionally sharp, bright glass and compares well with spotters that cost $400-500 more. This is on sale now at Brownells for $980.99, $419 off the original $1399.95 price. Take note: the 20-60x60mm Nikon Monarch ED sells for nearly $1400 on Amazon, so this is a great value if you don’t need the higher magnification. Important technical features:

Advanced Apochromat ED (Extra-low dispersion) glass minimizes color fringing.
Field Flattener Lens System delivers sharp images all the way to the periphery
Multi-layer Coated Lenses and Prisms for natural color fidelity
Optimized Focusing System for fast focusing

6. Palmetto State Armory — Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol, $299.99

Carry pistol $185 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales
Good CCW 9mm carry pistol for under $300.00

Right now compact 9mm carry guns are in very high demand. Many gun vendors have limited inventory and have raised prices. Here’s a good little compact carry gun at an attractive price — half what you might pay for a 9mm Glock 19 these days. Palmetto State Armory has the black-on-black Taurus 9mm G2c for just $184.99. This affordable 9mm handgun is a true compact, 6.25″ OAL, and weighing just 21.2 oz. unloaded. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

7. Amazon — MTM Ammo Carrier with 4 Lockable Ammo Cans

MTM ammo ammunition carry cans plastic crate
Great for storage AND transport for rifle and pistol ammo

This MTM ammo crate has been very popular with our readers. The MTM AC4C Ammo Carrier features four lockable polymer ammo cans in a fitted, four-slot 23.5″ x 11.3″ x 7.5″ carry crate. This makes it easy to haul four full ammo cans. Actual purchasers have raved: “Moments after I received this storage box set I ordered another. Very well-built and great design — a steal at the price.” The system includes four lockable, O-Ring 11.3″ x 7.2″ x 5″ ammo cans (AC30T) for multi-caliber ammo storage. The crate even includes tie-down points for transport in a cart or ATV. This is on sale now at Amazon for $24.99.

8. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $27.99

Shooting Mat

83% 5-Star Reviews, Easy Rolled-Up Transport, Decent Padding

Here’s a very good mat for just $27.99. This NcStar Vism shooting mat boast decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — the size of a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. This mat has earned 85% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

9. Amazon — 10000mAh Dual USB Battery Charger Packs, $19.99

battery charge pack
Recharge your smartphones and tablets — good for Labradar too

Do you have a cellphone, tablet, LabRadar, barrel cooler or other device that needs mobile power? If so, we found a killer deal on a pair of Miady 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Chargers. Yes you get TWO (2) charging packs for just $19.99 total! Featuring USB and USB-C ports and fast 2 amp charging capability, this pair of portable power banks is one of the best deals we’ve seen.

10. Amazon — 20 Pairs Corded Silicone Earplugs, $8.59

earplugs plugs hearing protection silicon corded 20 pairs
Twenty corded pairs for $8.59, just 43 cents per pair!

NOTE: For most shooting duties, we recommend the NRR33 Howard Leight MAX-1 foam earplugs, which are super quiet and really can be worn all day. However, if you need easy on/easy-off corded hearing protection, these silicone plugs work well, and they are a great value. This 20-pair set is great for clubs where spectators need protection or other large group activities. Keep a set on hand for working with noisey machinery.

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November 2nd, 2020

Shooting 101 — Understanding Terminal Ballistics

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

You’ve probably heard the term “Terminal Ballistics”. But do you really know what this refers to? Fundamentally, “Terminal Ballistics” describes the behavior of a projectile as it strikes, enters, and penetrates a target. Terminal Ballistics, then, can be said to describe projectile behavior in a target including the transfer of kinetic energy. Contrast this with “External Ballistics” which, generally speaking, describes and predicts how projectiles travel in flight. One way to look at this is that External Ballistics covers bullet behavior before impact, while terminal ballistics covers bullet behavior after impact.

The study of Terminal Ballistics is important for hunters, because it can predict how pellets, bullets, and slugs can perform on game. This NRA Firearm Science video illustrates Terminal Ballistics basics, defining key terms such as Impact Crater, Temporary Cavity, and Primary Cavity.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

External Ballistics, also called “exterior ballistics”, is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a non-powered projectile in flight.

Terminal Ballistics, a sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

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